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#3 Daniel 2 (Bad Dreams)

Series: Daniel Class (God's Everlasting Kingdom)



Section Outline (from Mitchell L. Chase in the ESV Expository Commentary Volume 7, pg. 36-37)

I. Aramaic Chiasm: Kingdoms, Deliverance, and Judgment (2:1–7:28)

A. Vision of Four Kingdoms Preceding an Eternal Kingdom (2:1–49)

1. Nebuchadnezzar Responds to His Dream (2:1–2)

2. Babylonian Wise Men Fail to Convey the Dream and Interpretation (2:3–13)

3. Daniel Speaks with the Captain of the Guard (2:14–16)

4. Daniel Praises God for Answering His Prayer (2:17–23)

3'. Daniel Speaks with the Captain of the Guard (2:24–25)

2'. Daniel Succeeds in Conveying the Dream and Interpretation (2:26–45)

1'. Nebuchadnezzar Responds to Daniel’s Interpretation (2:46–49)


Overview: Nebuchadnezzar’s insecurities and sleepless nights give God an opportunity reveal hidden things through Daniel and show Nebuchadnezzar who is God of gods, Lord of kings, and who truly rules control of the kingdoms of men.


Four Kingdoms: these are later filled out as the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, and the Greek Empire. The Roman Empire is never specifically named, which may signal that the fourth kingdom represents more than only the Roman Empire. Note in particular in this chapter that God’s kingdom actually conquers kingdoms of the earth and fills the earth (contra some interpretations of Luke 17:20-21 and John 18:36).


Intertextual Connections

  • By no human hand — 2:45; 8:25.
  • Four kingdoms followed by the kingdom of God — ch. 2 and ch. 7
  • Image of gold — ch. 2 and 3
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s rule — 2:37-38; 4:12, 20-22


New Testament Connections


BIG PICTURE. What is/are the central message(s) God intends to communicate through this chapter? Explain the significance of what you see and how this impacts thinking and living then and today.



GOLDEN NUGGETS. What else stands out to you as instructive or significant? Explain.



NT CONNECTIONS/FULFILLMENTS. How do predictions from this chapter play out in the NT?

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